Wednesday, April 01, 2009

The Greatest Abasement

"It is against the stream and current of our corrupt nature to come to Christ. Consider from what the soul departs when it comes to Christ. In that day it leaves all its lusts and ways of sin, how pleasant, sweet and profitable soever they have been : "Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord." Isa. 55 : 7. His way and thoughts, that is, both the practice of and delight he had in sin must be forsaken, and the outward and inward man must be cleansed from it. Now there are in the bosoms of unregenerate men such darling lusts, which have given them so much pleasure, brought them so much profit, and been born and bred up with them, and which, on all these accounts, are so endeared to their souls, that it is easier for them to die than to forsake them; yea, nothing is more common among such men than to venture eternal damnation rather than suffer a separation from their sins.

And what is yet more difficult in coming to Christ, the soul forsakes not only its sinful self, but its righteous self; not only its worst sins, but its best performances, accomplishments and excellencies. This is one of the greatest straits that nature can be put to. Righteousness by works was the first liquor that ever was put into the vessel, and it still retains the tang and savor of it, and will to the end of the world. "For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God." Rom. 10 : 3. To come naked and empty to Christ, and receive all from him as a free gift, is, to proud corrupt nature, the greatest abasement and submission in the world." —John Flavel (1627 - 1691)

Excerpt taken from "The Method of Grace" by John Flavel (1627 - 1691)

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